Vietnam expands its APEC role

(VOV) - Foreign and domestic delegates acknowledged Vietnam’s positive contributions to cooperation and economic connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region at a Hanoi conference on November 15.

The conference was held to review the country’s 15 years as an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member.

They considered the progress made since the 14th APEC Summit Hanoi hosted in 2006 identified long-term aims including an Asia-Pacific free trade area, Hanoi’s Bogor goal action plan, and blueprints for organisational reform.

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Over the course of its membership, Vietnam has introduced more than 70 initiatives for cooperation spanning trade liberalisation, small and medium-sized business development, human resources development, health care, emergency response, search and rescue, counterterrorism, and aviation security.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh used his speech to highlight the emerging global trends granting APEC a wealth of opportunity to strengthen its power and position. He noted the challenges present in realising the Bogor goals, accelerating reform, and successfully resolving regional and global issues.

He appreciated APEC’s interest in helping its less-developed and developing members through difficult economic times.

Minh said Vietnam’s decision to join the grouping demonstrates the country’s desire to diversify and open up its foreign policy.

The Asia-Pacific region and the APEC forum in particular are of paramount importance to Vietnam, Minh stressed, adding Vietnam wants to consolidate multilateral cooperation to achieve comprehensive regional economic connectivity.

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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said more efforts are needed to boost realisation of the Bogor Goals

Plenary session delegates concluded APEC’s importance will continue into the 21st century but must reform to improve its operational efficiency and successfully address global challenges like food and energy security.

Business representatives attending the conference suggested APEC members introduce regionally consistent policies, link supply chains, increase service cooperation, sponsor technological innovations, develop small and medium-sized enterprises, and encourage women’s involvement in economic development.

Delegates recommended Vietnam increase its contributions to APEC by renewing its policies to reflect APEC priorities, introducing initiatives supporting its shifting growth model, and accepting more global responsibility.

They underlined the need to promote APEC’s image and interests in regional business communities and localities, and encourage policymaking coordination between the governments, businesses, and scholars.

Delegates vowed to work closely with Vietnam to successfully organise the 6th APEC Human Resource Development Ministerial Conference scheduled for 2014. They also put their support behind Vietnam’s bid to host the 25th APEC Summit and related meetings in 2017.